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F3P

Mirage G4 M4 packing Aerodyne Pilot 188 ZPX

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Hi,

I am in the process of purchasing a Mirage G4 M4 and my plan was to stick an Aerodyne Pilot 188 ZPX canopy inside as the main and a PD Reserve 160 for the reserve. I was told at first that this would not be a problem, so I went ahead with the purchase.

However, I was just told by Mirage that this would not fit. After my question regarding the sizing they came back and said it would fit, but like a "brick." To proceed, they require I sign a waiver. Given that Aerodyne says the Pilot 188 ZPX packs to the same volume as a Pilot 168 AND a Pilot 168 is regarded as an "Optimal" fit on the Mirage website for the M4 container, I don't see the disconnect nor do I understand the concern from Mirage.

Is anyone currently jumping an Mirage G4 M4 with an Aerodyne Pilot 188 ZPX and a similar sized reserve chute? If so, how is the fit, packing, etc?

Thanks for your input!!

Frank

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riggerrob

Your first call should have been to the Mirage factory.



My first paragraph reads: "I was told at first that this would not be a problem, so I went ahead with the purchase." I spoke with 2 different Mirage dealers who confirmed this setup. I did not think a call to the factory was necessary.

Nonetheless, my question is not what I should have done, but if there is anyone who is jumping this setup. I have seen older threads on dropzone.com that say this is not a problem, but I am looking for some firsthand experience.

Thank you.

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Frank,

Let's start off with layman definitions of words that Mirage uses to describe parachute fit:
Optimal - tighter than most people would be happy with
Soft - ideal because the seams are not stressed, your closing loops aren't crazy long, and your pins aren't standing out proud

Suppose you take the typical line of thought, "I'm a brand new jumper who's going to start with a big canopy, but I'll be jumping something smaller next year, and I want it all to fit in this same rig." For this strategy you can go with an Optimal main, but you'll want to pair that with a Soft reserve. An Optimal main + Optimal reserve is too much crap going into a Mirage container.

However if you take a Soft reserve (in this case maybe a PD Optimum 160) and pair it with some main that's listed as Optimal in Mirage's M4 list, the reserve tray won't be bulging/pushing into the main tray quite as much. So it will all fit better.

I think calling the manufacturer is usually a good idea, but in my experience Mirage gives poor advice on fitment of canopies into new containers. They usually lean toward the way-too-tight end of the scale.

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parachutist

Frank,

Let's start off with layman definitions of words that Mirage uses to describe parachute fit:
Optimal - tighter than most people would be happy with
Soft - ideal because the seams are not stressed, your closing loops aren't crazy long, and your pins aren't standing out proud

Suppose you take the typical line of thought, "I'm a brand new jumper who's going to start with a big canopy, but I'll be jumping something smaller next year, and I want it all to fit in this same rig." For this strategy you can go with an Optimal main, but you'll want to pair that with a Soft reserve. An Optimal main + Optimal reserve is too much crap going into a Mirage container.

However if you take a Soft reserve (in this case maybe a PD Optimum 160) and pair it with some main that's listed as Optimal in Mirage's M4 list, the reserve tray won't be bulging/pushing into the main tray quite as much. So it will all fit better.

I think calling the manufacturer is usually a good idea, but in my experience Mirage gives poor advice on fitment of canopies into new containers. They usually lean toward the way-too-tight end of the scale.



Thank you for the great reply - truly appreciated.

So, if I switch to the PD Optimum 160 instead of the PD Reserve 160 you think the Pilot 188 ZPX will be a good fit? I think that makes sense. I spoke with Mirage earlier today, and they were telling me something similar but did not offer that recommendation.

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F3P


So, if I switch to the PD Optimum 160 instead of the PD Reserve 160 you think the Pilot 188 ZPX will be a good fit?



I haven't tried that combination, so I don't know if it would make the 188 ZPX fit, or if it would still be too tight (even if it does fit, I expect it'll be really tight).

I'd say you have a couple good options at this stage:
1) You can completely scrap the current configuration and start over fresh. Put your new ideal container together using canopies listed on the Mirage sizing chart, picking a soft reserve with an optimal main.
2) Or you could stick with the current container that you have on order and sub in a low volume reserve such as the Optimum 160 or SMART LPV 160, get some direct canopy coaching from a good coach or entity such as Flight-1, and change the main canopy to one that's in the Mirage list, like a Pilot 168 when the coach clears you for that size

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Understood. The Pilot 188 ZPX is supposed to fit like the Pilot 168. The Pilot 168 is listed as Optimal under the Mirage website.

I spoke with Mirage earlier today and they have not tested ANY ZPX canopies out which is why they are not listed on their website - they currently have no comment regarding them. However, I also called Aerodyne and they told me the Pilot 188 ZPX should be the same fit as a Pilot 168 or even a little smaller.

Given that, I'm going to call Mirage and see what they think regarding the "soft" fitting reserve with the "optimal" fitting main. I'll also look into the option of canopy coaching since I'll have 6 weeks until my rig arrives anyway, and decide between the two.

Thanks again for your advice.

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This doesn't answer your question, but it does give some context and other examples. I have a Mirage G4 M4 with an Optimum 176 in it. Reserve fits great (and deploys out of there great btw). Canopies I have had in this rig and MY impression of how they fit.

Demo'ed a Storm 190. Super tight. Would not do it again.
Sabre2 170. Fits like a glove. Perfect. Own and jump this canopy.
Demo'ed a Pulse 190. Fit great. Might be something for you to think about. Not the sporty-ist canopy, but actually liked it and think it is a good canopy at a reasonable wing loading. The bottom skin makes this super easy to pack and very low volume.
Spectre 170. Fits great. I own and use this canopy for wing suiting.
Demo'ed a Pilot 168 ZP. Canopy was brand new and was really tight but ok in my container. I don't have any doubt that after it was broken in with some jumps it would fit better/fine. Definitely packed larger than my Sabre2.

I have found some of Mirage's suggestions on canopies to not quite fit with my expectations and experience (i.e. a 190 Storm, for example). I load my 170's about 1.3 or so.

I don't have first hand experience with ZPX but was leaning towards a Pilot for a while and did a bunch of reading and asking figment questions and never got very good answers I felt comfortable with, as it seems you are now experiencing. Good luck with the process, I know it can be frustrating.

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